• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore to what extent, if any, Shakespeare presents Claudio to be an admirable character in 'Much Ado about Nothing'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore to what extent, if any, Shakespeare presents Claudio to be an admirable character in 'Much Ado about Nothing' The first the audience hear of the character of Claudio in 'Much Ado about Nothing' is from other characters discussing his heroic feats during war. Shakespeare introduces Claudio, not through his own presence and actions, but through others' opinions of him. Don Pedro clearly thinks Claudio is an admirable character - approving of his service during the war against Don John - describing him as 'doing in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion'. During Claudio's confession of his love for Hero, the prince describes Hero as 'worthy' of Claudio's love, showing he holds Claudio in high regard, Shakespeare repeats this word six lines later to place emphasis on Don Pedro's opinion. Due to Borachio and Don Johns' attempt to ruin the future wedding, Claudio believes that Don Pedro is in love with Hero and has betrayed him. Upon realising his friend is acting strangely, Don Pedro shows concern by asking, 'wherefore art thou sad?' This concern implies that he cares for Claudio. The way in which he selflessly woos Hero for him further emphasises Don Pedro's care for his friend's wellbeing. He tells Claudio that, 'as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her'. ...read more.

Middle

Benedick warns him to be careful concerning love and possible marriage - Claudio easily dismisses his friend's opinion, blinded by his infatuation and instead listens to Don Pedro who offers to woo Hero for him as Claudio worries his own 'liking might too sudden seem'. This tells us that although he may come across as slightly foolhardy, unlike many young men, he seems aware and cautious of this trait he possesses. Shakespeare presents Claudio, throughout 'Much Ado about Nothing', as a gullible character, believing every story that Don John dreams up. This is especially significant as; firstly, Don John is socially inferior to Claudio. Secondly, Don Pedro, one of Claudio's closest friends, is Don John's half-brother and therefore Claudio should know Don John well. Thirdly, because Don John hates Claudio and he should be aware of this and lastly, because they have been enemies in war. Claudio has no reason to trust the Bastard and the fact that he does, on two occasions, leading to almost disastrous consequences, shows his inexperience and insecurity - that he is so easily lead astray. The first time this happens is when Claudio pretends to be Benedick at the Masquerade Ball. Don John is aware of this and tells him that Don Pedro 'is enamoured on Hero', making Claudio jealous and upset that his friend has betrayed him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Claudio's rash confidence continues, even when Leonato and Antonio challenge him he tells them, 'away, I will not have to do with you' and tells them to 'draw to pleasure' him - bold words for one so young. All this irrationality is stripped away however when he realises he has been tricked and believes he is responsible for Hero's death, he is reduced to a sorrowful wreck as he confesses, 'sweet Hero, now thy image doth appear in the rare semblance that I loved it first'. The audience know his tears are in vain and that Hero is alive and we are pleased for him when we hear that Leonato plans to attempt to marry the two again. In conclusion, Shakespeare does present Claudio as an admirable character in 'Much Ado about Nothing', as many, if not all of his undesirable characteristics can be explained as those common to 16th Century men. Further more; all of the characters, excepting Don John, respect him, despite his youth, and even Borachio appears apologetic for his actions when he hears of Hero's 'death'. However, he definitely carries some materialistic traits and, although these would not have bothered a Shakespearean audience, to someone studying the play in the 21st Century they show Claudio in a different, if not entirely negative, light. Word Count = 2,197. External quotations in italics are taken from 'Much Ado about Nothing' York Notes Advanced. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Much Ado About Nothing section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Much Ado About Nothing essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In "Much Ado about Nothing", Shakespeare presents us with a conventional and unconventional heroine ...

    5 star(s)

    fate, but instead is the idea of yet another man, the Friar: "Publish it that she is dead indeed". Thus, even at the moment when her reputation, indeed her entire future is under threat, Hero remains passive, at the disposal of men.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Claudio-'a man of honour betrayed'?

    3 star(s)

    When Don John delivers the news of Hero's disloyalty, Claudio and Don Pedro are quick to believe a fellow male soldier, without thinking that Don John could be lying. This could be seen as a contradiction as it was believed that "bastards" were not to be trusted.

  1. Discuss in detail Shakespeare's presentation of women in Much Ado About Nothing

    speaks for Hero by saying "yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make curtsy and say 'Father, as it please you'" This can be seen as Beatrice either mocking Hero, or taking pity on her. But at the same time rather aptly sums up Hero's purpose.

  2. Much ado about nothing exploring the relationships between Claudio and Hero & Benedick & ...

    The audience can infer from this that Claudio is a bit of a spontaneous character, considering that he has just returned from a battle the audience would expect him to be a bit traumatised or at unease instead he doesn't seem fazed by it all, moreover he prepares himself to

  1. What do we learn about the Society of Messina in "Much ado about Nothing"?

    Her standing irreparably damaged under the accusations made against her: "O she is fallen into a pit of ink that the wide sea hath drops too few to wash her clean again". On the contrary, the honour and footing of the men and their families within the ethnicity of Messina

  2. How Is The Theme Of Deception Apparent in Much AdoAbout Nothing

    the audience to rethink their snap judgements of Don John, perhaps not to change their opinion of him but to at least judge him fairly. It would seem at first that Don John is simply a deceiver and is not deceived but if we were to analyse more deeply we

  1. To what extent does the portrayal of women in Much Ado About Nothing subvert ...

    Beatrice is clearly aware of her inability to act against Claudio (purely because of her gender), after he shuns Hero at the altar. Beatrice declares ?O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market place!? The metaphor used here creates an image of a

  2. Explore how Much Ado About Nothing uses the comic genre to allow Shakespeare to ...

    When Claudio publicly shames Hero, “Not to be married, not to knit my soul to an approvéd wanton”. Leonato at first defends Hero’s honor, “Dear my lord, if you in your own proof… made defeat of her virginity.” It’s only when Don Pedro supports the claim made by Claudio that

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work